Microsoft welcomes UK governing body’s reassessment of ActiBlizz buyout while Sony cries foul

well then

This is one of those “water is wet” news stories considering the parties involved, but in the interest of continuing to follow the ever-lengthening multi-billion dollar buyout of Activision-Blizzard by Microsoft, we’re going to post this follow-up anyway.

Readers might recall that the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority pulled a provisional about face last week when assessing the impact of the transaction on competition, finding that the deal would not bring harm to the Call of Duty franchise on PlayStation and further not impact console competition. Both Microsoft and Sony have since shared their reactions to the CMA’s addendum, and those reactions aren’t too surprising.

Sony is continuing to ring alarm bells as it claims the CMA didn’t look at the whole picture of Microsoft’s exclusivity behavior, accusing the regulator of using instead a biased model that was “based on pure speculation, rather than evidence.” Sony also called the regulatory body’s stance switch “surprising, unprecedented, and irrational” and called on the CMA to “revisit its analysis of Microsoft’s incentives and partial foreclosure, correcting for the errors identified in [its response].”

Microsoft is meanwhile pleased with the CMA’s updated findings. “Microsoft has been clear since the announcement of the merger: it has no intention to withhold or degrade access to Call of Duty or any other Activision content on PlayStation,” reads its response. “Such a strategy would be in direct contrast to the interests of gamers in the UK and around the world. Rather than limit choice or access, Microsoft intends to use the merger to bring more games to more people on more platforms and devices.”

We once more repeat that the CMA’s findings are still provisional and the transaction has yet to receive a green light in the UK. A final report is still scheduled for April 26th.

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